Argylle is branded ‘one of the most expensive worst movies ever made’ as the $200M Matthew Vaughn spy flick is savaged by critics

The reviews are in, and critics have blasted Matthew Vaughn’s highly anticipated spy film Argylle.

The movie, which has a star-studded cast including Bryce Dallas Howard, Dua Lipa, Henry Cavill and Samuel L. Jackson, and cost Apple Original Films an eye-watering $200 million, left many critics unimpressed.

Based on a recently published book of the same name, it follows introverted spy novelist Elly Conway (played by Howard) who is drawn into the real world of espionage when the plots of her books stray a little too close to the activities of a sinister underground syndicate.

The film has been dubbed ‘one of the most expensive worst movies ever made’ by Katie Walsh from Tribune News Serviceand currently has a rating of 37% on it Rotten tomatoes.

“One of the most chaotically stupid action movies to torture audiences in ages,” Barry Hertz of Globe and Mail said of the film.

Critics have blasted Matthew Vaughn's $200 million spy flick Argylle as 'one of the most expensive worst movies ever made'.

Critics have blasted Matthew Vaughn’s $200 million spy flick Argylle as ‘one of the most expensive worst movies ever made’.

Another critic dubbed the film, which stars Dua Lipa and Henry Cavill (pictured), as 'One of the most chaotically stupid action movies to torture audiences in ages'

Another critic dubbed the film, which stars Dua Lipa and Henry Cavill (pictured), as ‘One of the most chaotically stupid action movies to torture audiences in ages’

“The comic touch is almost as heavy-handed as its slow-motion-drenched action is dull, it seems designed primarily to answer the question, ‘How many movie stars can one fiasco squander?'” Nick Schager of The Daily Beast asked.

“A talented cast caught in an endless story with a fake cat,” Matt Singer from ScreenCrush nodded.

David Fear of Rolling stone kept his review simple and to the point, writing: ‘Argyle is a bad movie. A very, very bad movie.’

“It’s all starting to feel like one of those very expensive, very elaborate commercials for a pseudo-luxury product you don’t want to buy – maybe a perfume, or some car,” writes Leslie Felperin of the Hollywood Reporter.

Meanwhile Carla Hay van Culture Mixture called the movie, “An incoherent, bloated mess filled with stupid plot twists, awful dialogue, and a gimmicky cat that seems fake for most of the movie.” Henry Cavill is not the main star. Argylle is mostly Sam Rockwell acting smug and Bryce Dallas Howard acting terrified.’

Many of the critics did praise Bryce’s performance as the film’s saving grace.

“Although Bryce Dallas Howard is charming, this twist-dependent action comedy grows tiresome,” said Jordan Hoffman of The Messenger wrote.

‘There is way too much CGI. It goes on for half an hour longer than even the most tolerant Vaughn fan will allow. And yet. Howard is so irresistibly charming that Argylle is hard to resist completely,” Donald Clarke of the Irish Times wrote.

Sam Rockwell and Bryan Cranston also received praise for their roles.

“How many movie stars can squander a fiasco?” Nick Schager of The Daily Beast asked about the film, which has a star-studded cast

The movie currently has a 37% rating on Rotten Tomatoes;  Samuel L. Jackson seen in a still

The movie currently has a 37% rating on Rotten Tomatoes; Samuel L. Jackson seen in a still

Many critics did praise Bryce Howard Dallas' performance as the film's saving grace, calling her

Many critics did praise Bryce Howard Dallas’ performance as the film’s saving grace, calling her “irrepressibly charming.” She plays a writer who gets embroiled in a real-life mission

Sam Rockwell and Bryan Cranston also received praise for their roles;  Cranston saw in a silence

Sam Rockwell and Bryan Cranston also received praise for their roles; Cranston saw in a silence

The film, based on an adaptation of a book of the same name recently published by an author also named Elly Conway, will be released on February 2.

The film, based on an adaptation of a book of the same name recently published by an author also named Elly Conway, will be released on February 2.

The film stars Cavill as lead agent Argylle opposite femme fatale Dua Lipa in her feature film debut.

It was first announced in June 2021, with a script adapted from the novel before it was even published.

‘When I read this early draft manuscript, I felt it was the most incredible and original spy franchise since Ian Fleming’s books of the 50s. It’s going to reinvent the spy genre,’ Vaughn gushed.

There were even rumors that singer Taylor Swift, 34, was the secret novelist behind the book, though Vaughn has since shut down that conspiracy.

Little has been shared about writer Elly Conway – whose name is used for Bryce’s character in the film, and has been alternately spelled Ellie and Elly in promotional material.

On the Penguin website, Elly’s bio simply reads: ‘She lives in the United States and is currently working on the next installment in the series’. Elly’s Instagram account is empty – she only follows one person – her agent Eric Reid.

The film will release on February 2, 2024.